Date: Friday, 11/24/17
Tip-Off Time: 12:00pm PST
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Radio: KOMO 1000
Location: Hec Edmundson Pavilion at Alaska Airlines Arena, Seattle, Washington
Betting Line: Washington -11
Seattle U 2017-18 Statistics:
Points For per Game: 71.0 ppg (214th)
Points Against per Game: 74.5 ppg (184th)
Strength of Schedule: 161st
Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 96.8 (279th)
Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 104.8 (238th)
Note: The efficiency numbers are weighted with preseason expectations. They’re a better way to judge offense and defense than raw point totals right now (and always) given the small sample sizes.
Seattle U Key Players:
C- Aaron Menzies, Jr. 7’3, 285: 8.6ppg, 7.0rpg, 1.6bpg, 69.2% FG, 70% FT
Menzies will likely be the tallest player the Huskies face this season. Picture a 7’3 Sam Timmins. He isn’t overly skilled but when you’re that tall it doesn’t matter a ton. He’s in the top-200 nationally in block percentage, field goal percentage, and offensive/defensive rebounding percentage which you’d expect from someone who can basically dunk without leaving his toes.
F- Matej Kavas, So. 6’8, 200: 16.0ppg, 6.0rpg, 1.6apg, 50% FG, 86.7% FT, 46.9% 3pt
Kavas is the definition of a stretch 4 as he’s attempted about 75% of his shots from beyond the arc while making almost half of them. He’s also second on the team in blocked shots so he has some athleticism. Shutting him down will be mission #1 for the Husky zone.
F- Richaud Gittens, Sr. 6’4, 195: 11.6ppg, 5.0rpg, 1.6apg, 40.7% FG, 100% FT, 30.3% 3pt
Gittens similarly likes to launch 3-pointers but he has been much worse at it this season. The Weber State grad transfer is attempting the highest percentage of shots for the Redhawks and it’s a good thing for UW if that continues.
G- Morgan Means, Fr. 6’3, 175: 9.6ppg, 4.0rpg, 3.8apg, 39.5% FG, 100% FT, 13.6% 3pt
Hey look, another volume 3-point shooter who is worse than the guy above him. Means shot nearly 37% as a freshman last season so he’s just in a shooting slump and UW should be hoping he doesn’t break out of it against the zone.
G- Jordan Hill, Sr. 6’4, 183: 12.6ppg, 4.2rpg, 3.8apg, 44.4% FG, 66.7% FT, 47.8% 3pt
We break the streak of poor 3-point shooting as Hill can knock it down from outside. He’s a grad transfer from Wisconsin so he is not going to be intimidated by the competition/athleticism the Huskies will throw out there.
The Huskies struggled in New York but they will get the opportunity to find a rhythm and make adjustments with four straight home games where they will be 75%+ favorites against mid-major teams starting with Seattle U.
The Redhawks fired coach Cameron Dollar during the off-season who now sits on the bench next to Coach Hopkins at Washington. If anyone will be able to come up with an accurate scouting report with a week to prepare it will be Washington. However, of the primary 6 players for Seattle only half of them were on the team last year so that advantage may be overstated.
Seattle’s most noted tendency is that they are going to jack up three-pointers. They’re 11th in the country in highest % of shots coming from behind the arc at 46.5%. Expect them to surround Menzies and Josh Hearlihy with a quartet of shooters and bomb it while hoping for offensive rebounds and putbacks. The Huskies were actually doing well in their 3-point defense before the unmitigated disaster that was the Virginia Tech game. With a sample size of only 4 games, that game caused the Huskies to fall to 329th in the country letting in 44.6% of deep attempts. If they hold the Redhawks below 35% they’ll almost certainly win.
The biggest issue on offense for Seattle is holding onto the ball which plays right into the Huskies’ hands (literally). UW is 30th in the country by getting a steal on 12.2% of possessions while Seattle gets it stolen on 10.8% which is 299th in the country. Expect Matisse Thybulle and Jaylen Nowell to both end up with 3+ steals.
When the Huskies have the ball they will continue to try to exploit one-on-one mismatches without moving the ball a lot. I expect Noah Dickerson to have another big game. Sam Timmins will be in any time that Menzies is which will hopefully allow Dickerson a better matchup down low. The Redhawks will try to slow the game down but they simply don’t have the talent to match up with a physical Washington team.
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